#BETA I’m a Scumbag

Well are you ready to find out what really happened to Denny?

This is the Beta version. I sent it to my first editor. Now I need readers and input.

I’m a Scumbag

 

“Our dreams give us a moment of redemption. Then reality returns.” ~ Unknown

 

By Artemis J Jones

 

Can this be the end? I can barely see and there are tubes in my arms. Penetrating pain through my abdomen has frightened any movement from my limbs. A nurse is trying to talk to me and she is staring at my face, commenting and asking me things, many things.

“Sir, sir what is your name? Can you hear me? Do you know what happened to you? I’ll keep the blanket on you. You need to stay warm; your oxygen levels are low.”

My eyes close, but I can still hear voices. Other voices, a man’s voice, distant laughter. My tongue begins to swell, I am gasping for air. The nurse talks to me. “Sir, I’m going to put a tube in your throat.”  I gasp for air ….

*****

Sunlight pushes into my room, it pushes through the cracks between the curtains, over the top of the valance and it pushes right up to my eyes, forcing them to open.  I am not used to bright light. In fact, I hide from it. Night and darkness are my comforts, not the warmth of the sun.

A nurse comes in my room, she greets me as sir, and she does not know who I am. “Sir, do you know where you are? What is your name?  You were brought in a few days ago, you were in really bad shape. There was no ID on you.” she continued with “We are giving you blood, you have stitches on your abdomen. You are on an IV for fluids and here is your pain button. Press the pain button when needed.”

I fade in and out of consciousness.

I awake, but it is nighttime the moon is shining through my window and it is a full moon. I begin to have memories. The last time I saw the moon it was a first quarter moon. There is some clarity in my mind and I am thinking about a name, my name. I am yelling and fighting with a woman and her visual image is clear in my mind. I slap her, she swings at me, she is screaming,”Stop … stop!” At that moment, a man comes into my memory. He has a bat and swings at me. The memory stops. I continue to think about the memory, when a nurse and a sheriff’s deputy come in the room.

The nurse checks me and says nothing. The Deputy introduces himself.

“Sir I’m detective Robert Moreno of the Hendry County Sheriff’s department. I’m investigating your case. You were found at the intersection of 9th avenue and Everett Street. A deputy found you lying on the road face down, with your head up on the curb, unconscious. You had multiple contusions, bruises and stab wounds. There was no ID on you and we need to establish your identity. Sir, do you know your name?”

I think for a moment, then answer, “My name is Denny … Denny James Franklin.

“Do you know your address? Where do you live sir?”

I stare at him, confused for a moment. I am getting flashes of different places in my mind; a house with bricks, a trailer. The numbers 489 flash in my mind. I am looking at a house, with 489 on the front ….

I blurt out, “I live at 489 Ninth Avenue.”

“Do you have family? Is there anyone we can call for you?”

“I have a girlfriend. We live together at the address I just told you. I’m not sure of her name.”

“Do you want us to call her? Do you know her telephone number?”

“I don’t know, but I’m sure I live with a woman, a young woman. She has Auburn hair. Can I rest? I mean, I need to rest. I’m tired.”

The nurse leaves the room. Detective Moreno is silent for a moment, but stares at me, and then he begins to write on a card. “Mr. Franklin, I will leave you my card. Your case number is on the back of the card; my name and number are on the front. Call me if you can think of anything that will help us determine what happened to you.”

I watch as the detective leaves the room. There are bandages covering my abdomen and bruises on both shoulders, but the left shoulder is worse and more swollen. I push the pain button, take a deep breath and rest my head on the pillow. As the medicine takes effect, I use my hands to “look” at myself, to wonder, Who am I?

Looking down the length of my body, I note that have a long bruise across my chest, wider up near my left shoulder. Moving my hands around, touching my chest, abdomen, and sides, I feel tender, sore spots. I stop moving my hands, I do not want to know more, but the memories come back and, at the same time, I see myself from above the bed, staring down on the havoc of my condition. Mind, body, what else could be so damaged. Who am I?

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Short Story Development, Second Draft: For The Wind I Will Move

 sailboat-in-black-and-white-robert-suggs

                                                                                                     For The Wind I Will Move

By Artemis J Jones

 

#amwriting

#Second draft

#StoryDevelopment

 

When you go to the beach in the morning feeling the breeze and watching the sun, what do you see? For centuries Man has tried to tackle the wind, to control it, and man has had some success. The wind lifts carries, and sometimes has multiple faces, faces of comfort and terror.

Some  years ago I was a young man. The powers of youth swelled through every void left in my body, from a childhood that was gone forever. I am old now, my time has come and soon I will be gone. But I remember that summer.

I was one of their friends. We called ourselves the homies. We were always there for the good times, the parties, the toasts to the winner. I knew both of them since middle school, we played baseball on summer nights. High school was a time for, well for some of us, parties. But Jake was different. Chad wanted to live in both worlds. He wanted the parties, but school mattered. Chad had dreams, big dreams. Jake was a realist, he had to learn about everything to understand: to touch and listen, that was how Jake learned. That was how he grew up. That whole summer we all thought we were trying to embrace adulthood. Jake took aim on life’s promise of adventure.

Chad and Jake had grown up in South Florida together, same schools, same neighborhood, and similar interests in girls. Chad was always looking at brunettes and Jake liked classic blue-eyed blondes. But they both liked girls that were fit and were willing to push back a little competition. By push back I mean directly back, Jake wanted a girl who was competitive like him. Chad was the same. Chad and Jake were competitive with each other and that built a bond that could not be severed. Their friendship depended on their competition. The slight differences; for example, their tastes in girls, kept them from bringing the competition to a point that would damage their friendship.

 

Both came from families that could provide a lot for two young energetic men, they lived in an upper middle class neighborhood, two streets apart. They had access to the ocean, and shared similar interests in the ocean and all the desires it conjures up in your youth. Chad’s father had two boats, the first was an awesome fishing boat, a blue water boat by all standards. The second was a 33 foot sail boat. Both boats were well equipped and Chad took the Coast Guard safe boating classes with his father three years ago.

 

Jake’s father had little time for any boat. He loved the water but could never devote the time, to learn about boating, as a result, he was willing to ask advice because he knew he had no knowledge of boating. Jake’s fathers name is Douglas and he has known Chad’s father David, for several years. When the boys were in eighth grade middle school, Douglas asked David for advice on buying a boat. David discussed many things with him and asked him several questions; “ Why do you want a boat?”, What type of boat do you want?”, “What will be the purpose for purchasing a boat and where will you keep it?”.

 

These questions were a lot for someone whose past showed only a marginal interest in boating, but Douglas had a lot of interest in the water. He thought about a family power boat, then he thought about a sail boat like David owned. The Sail boat seemed perfect, it was large enough for the family and Douglas had decided to put the time, money and efforts in that direction. He was going to purchase a sailboat and keep it at the neighborhood marina. In the spring while Jake was still in eighth grade his father purchased a new 35’ Sail Boat . It was a beautiful boat, could sleep 6, larger than normal head and galley and fully equipped. Douglas spent more than seventy-five thousand and made sure it could handle any weather, and had full electronics and battery backups. He and Jake took the Coast Guard safe boating classes and now they were ready to sail.

 

For Four years Jake learned what he could about sailing and boating. He sailed with his family and with Chad. By the time they were seniors they were taking each family boat out separately and having some friendly competition plus showing off their skills to their girlfriends. Jake started to talk about more serious competition: something he really was not ready for. He learned a lot but had never seriously been challenged by the sea and the weather especially at the same time.  At the marina restaurant Jake proposed a race in the next month up to the Hillsboro Inlet. Chad thought about it, the waters are only about 40 feet deep most the way. “That sounds good” was his reply.  Chad a sense of ire for really deep water, he had this recurring dream of drifting in the deep blue sea. The dream was endless and lovely. When he awoke from the dream he would always think about Corin. She was the definition of lovely he saw it every day when he looked at his girlfriend of 2 years. Corin was brunette and 5’ 9” tall she was very athletic and always challenged Chad, sometimes she was more than he could handle. Corin was more than any boy could handle, she was straight  “A’s” with honors through high school and had her choice of colleges to go to.  She chose to rest this summer at home before college in the fall and to be with Chad. You could say that they were in love, even though Chad always had a strong pull towards his friends.  As talk of the race progressed Jake and Chads friends proposed a Party at the finish line, for each race they did, and the rest of the friends would go to the Finish Line and wait. The Homies would give the party and celebrate the winner. The party was to become a strong force that pulled at him every day. The party meant good times with his friends and a chance to celebrate victory in front of Corin.

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Short Story Development : Over The Wall

I wanted to post  my final version of this story.

The goal of this story was to give readers a chance to think about their first experience at their job or vocation. I also hope to evoke the sense of wanting to belong to a group or team and proving that you are good enough to part of anything.

In order to tighten it up I set a goal of 1200 words maximum.

#shortstory  #writing  #amwriting

 

 

 


My Final version.

This version has been checked by my editor, and read by my local writing group that I meet with on a weekly basis. It will be included in my short story collection to be published later this year. You can read it for free now, I hope you enjoy it.

OVER THE WALL

By Artemis J Jones

I am standing here twenty years later, staring through a chain link fence. Looking up, I notice the fence is about eight feet high, and no barbed wire at the top. My hands are gripping the links of the fence and I am filled with a sense of déjà vu. Pressed by youthful exuberance, I feel a need to climb and go in. No guards around, so up and over I go.

*****

When I started working in the race shop, my goal was to become a genuine member of the team. Being hired by the team, does not make you a true member; you need to prove yourself. Once you go on the road and show that you can do, what the team needs, and discover for yourself if the team can work with you; that is the moment you become an integral part of the team. To prove yourself, you need to go over the wall.

From the very first day, I had some baggage, a bit of an ego, and the false pretense that I actually had laurels to rest on. The Team Manager, Craig, saw this and immediately began putting me in check.  My first assignment sweep the floor! After a few months of this mentally tasking duty, I was given a serious assignment; to Dyno test all the engines.

Every engine needed to be tested before it was placed in a race car. While I was doing this, Craig watched me, looking for flaws like impatience, bad judgment, and a negative attitude. Craig toned me down once when a tedious task revealed a little impatience in me, but, other than that, I was doing well. He gave me other assignments and, together with Bob, our metal fabricator, we began working on the American built Porsche 962, next season’s car.

After the current IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) season was half way over, I decided to take my harbored impatience with menial tasks in the shop, and put it to good use. I built a practice wall outside the race shop. It was two and a half feet high and ten inches wide, the same size as most safety walls around the country. I made it with concrete, cinder blocks and reinforced with rebar. After that, I built a stationary, practice, fuel storage tank and assembled a fuel hose exactly like the type of hose used at the track to fuel the cars during a pit stop.  I filled the tank with water, and then I put on a fire suit and began testing my skills. The hose, by itself, weighed thirty pounds and could hold eight gallons of fuel, which weighed seven pounds per gallon. So the combined weight on race day would be eighty –six pounds resting on my shoulder.

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